Hot Fruity Vinegar

Canning, Baking, and all things Kitcheny

Lids Didn’t Seal or What Do I Do Now?

My lids didn’t seal.  What do I do now?  WHAT DO I DO?  Well first off take the advice of Mr. Douglas Adams and don’t panic.

lids didn't seal

There are a lot of possibilities for why your lids didn’t seal.  You had the bands on too tight.  You didn’t process long enough.  You left too much head space.  You didn’t leave enough head space.  You don’t know what head space is because I haven’t written that faq yet.  You didn’t wipe the rim before putting on the lid and the band.

As you can tell there a lot of reasons why your lids didn’t seal.  How you fix that depends on a few things.  How big was the batch?  Are you going to have a fridge full of pickles because your lids didn’t seal?  If it was a large batch and none of the jars sealed you probably want to think about re-processing.  If it was just one or two jars where lids didn’t seal it’s probably ok to toss them in the fridge.

I mentioned reprocessing in that last paragraph.  Which is what a lot of people do when their lids didn’t seal.  Pop them back in the canner for the same amount of time and let them cool again.  A word of caution don’t put cold jars in a hot canner.  Put them in a room temperature canner and let it come to a boil with the jars already in otherwise you might end up with broken jars.

If it’s just one or a few jars where the lids didn’t seal you can put the item in the fridge.   If it’s something like jelly or apple butter you can eat it right away.  If it’s something pickled you probably want to wait at least a week if  not longer before eating it to make sure it has time to pickle and the flavor is there.

So what do you do when your lids didn’t seal?  Let me know in the comments section belwo.  I don’t recall the last time that happened to me but I think it was pickles and I just tossed it in the fridge.

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